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Understanding the changing patterns of behaviour leading to increased detentions by the Police under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983

Thomas, A., Forrester-Jones, Rachel (2018) Understanding the changing patterns of behaviour leading to increased detentions by the Police under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, . ISSN 1752-4512. (doi:10.1093/police/pay011)

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Abstract

The number of detentions by the police under section 136 of the Mental Health Act has significantly increased over recent years. Over the same period, relative funding of mental health services has declined. The implication is that the latter has in some way caused the former. In this study, the behaviours of people resulting in their detention are examined, as are the motivations of the officers detaining them.

There has also been the emergence of a ‘risk-averse’ culture in policing, fearful of ‘deaths in police contact’, which may have significantly contributed to this increase in detentions. This has resulted in the creation of a new ‘patient pathway’ which gives priority access, through the police, to otherwise difficult to access mental health services.

Restricting this pathway explains how ‘street triage’ schemes reduce detentions. Where the officer is advised by a Health professional not to detain a person, they are then indemnified for any subsequent outcomes. In the absence of such advice, officers feel they have no choice but to detain, where there are threats of self-harm.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/police/pay011
Uncontrolled keywords: Section 136 Mental Health Act, Police detentions mental illness, Police and mental illness, Police and self-harm, Mental illness and death in police contact
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Jo Ruffels
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2018 15:37 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2020 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/66455 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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